Rams Finish Strong


Caedmon Cook and Trey Mygatt

It had been 22 years since the Rams Cross Country team qualified for the IHSA 2A state championship before this year. It ultimately led to an amazing season finale for the Rams without a doubt.

 Led by first year head coach Trace Turner, the Rams finished the season with a 25th place finish at the State meet, exceeding their season ending 9th place at the Sectional meet the previous year. 

“I knew we could qualify for State,” Coach Turner said. “I just didn’t know if we were going to be able to execute.”

“The cross guys are RAM tough,” exclaimed Turner. “We were not at full strength and it was a hard day. However, we were the 25th best team in 2A cross country out of approximately 200 teams.” 

Brandon Etheridge, ‘24, a second year on the team junior with a PR of 16:17, remarked about the season.

 “The atmosphere this year was a mix of entertainment and determination. We had fun when we had the opportunity, but when it came time to work we set our heads straight and put the work in that we needed to,” Etheridge stated.

The Runnin’ Rams were also named Regional champs for the first time in seven seasons, the first time since 2015.

“I expected us to go to State, but I definitely didn’t expect us to win Regionals. Winning Regionals was one of my favorite parts about the cross-season,” stated Etheridge. 

Despite having one of the best years in recent memory, it was unexpected by many that they would be as successful as they were.

 “Being a first year head coach has been an adjustment. However we had a great team full of guys that wanted to work hard, which made my job easier,” said Coach Turner.

The Rams gained a total of six freshmen this year, with three of those six being on the Varsity squad. Rowan Wilford, Joel Hayes, Eli Johnston, Owen Hughey, Trace Elliot, and Travin Elliot, with Wilford, Hayes, and Johnston rounding out the top seven.

Joel Hayes, ‘26, described the season as quite different from that of a grade school cross country meet.

“It was very different from my grade school cross country experience, but in a better way. Basically it was great, and I would never change my decision,” said Hayes. 

With the season coming to an end, the distance runners have high hopes for the upcoming season.

Etheridge said, “Next season I am looking forward to seeing how well we do. All of us are returning next year and we have high hopes for the future and what we can do.’

“ I am more than excited for track season. We are the reigning South 7 Champions and Sectional Champions. I am excited to defend it for a second time,” exclaimed Coach Turner. 

The MV XC team certainly did the school proud this season, with all their hard work and dedication. 

“At the beginning of the season, I didn’t know how well we would do, ” said Etheridge, “But this year has shown us all how well we can actually do in this sport and if we put in the work, we will see results.”

Coach Turner said, “There are always unexpected things that pop up. Good teams deal with them and move forward without making excuses. This is what our guys did.”

“ I am proud of them for the resilience they demonstrated in the face of adversity,” Coach Turner added.

Lets make some noise for our Runnin’ Rams and continue to recognize how much they’ve done for our school!